Brenda Nordenstam

Brenda J. Nordenstam

Associate Professor

106 Marshall Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-6636



  • Ph.D., Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, 1994
  • M.S., Industrial Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, 1985
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Irvine, 1982
  • B.S., Animal Science, University of California, Davis, 1980

Research Interests

  • Risk perception, communication, and assessment of environmental and public health hazards.
  • Contextual factors influencing public/expert differences in perception, valuation, and management of environmental risk.
  • Social survey design, analysis, and policy applications.
  • Environmental justice, equity, and policy.
  • Right-to-know information policy and behavioral decision-making theory
  • Eco-tourism: environmental policy and community

Selected Publications

  • Baptiste, A. Karen, Nordenstam, B.J. (2010), Environmental perceptions and action: villagers response to oil and gas drilling in the wetlands of rural Trinidad, in Professor Ted I. K. Youn. (ed.) "Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective" (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Volume 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.289-321

  • Nordenstam, B.J., and Darkwa, Sarah (2010), Fish consumption and environmental justice in the great lakes: The influence of fish advisories on risk perception, knowledge, and behavior of white and minority anglers, in Professor Ted I. K. Youn. (ed.) "Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective" (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Volume 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.211-238
  • Baptiste, A.K., and Nordenstam, B.J. (2009) "Impact of Oil and Gas Drilling in Trinidad: Factors Influencing Environmental Beliefs and Behaviors within Three Rural Wetland Communities," Environmental Conservation 35(4):1-8.
  • Nordenstam, B.J., Lambright, W.H., Berger, M.E. and Little, M.K. (1998). "A Framework for Analysis of Transboundary Institutions for Air Pollution Policy in the United States." Environmental Science and Policy 1(3):231-238.
  • Nordenstam, B.J. (1998). "Risk, Economics, and Legislation: Risk Assessment Methodology." Pp. 235-246 in Environmental Biomonitoring: The Biotechnology Ecotoxicology Interface, eds. J. Lynch and A. Wiseman. Cambridge University Press.
  • Nordenstam, B.J. (1996). "The Influence of Environmental Uncertainty on Lay Perceptions of Risk and Safety." Pp. 205-226 in Scientific Uncertainty and Its Influence on the Public Participation Process, eds. V. Covello & V. Sublet. Kluwer Press, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
  • Nordenstam, B.J. (1995). "Transformation of Grassroots Environmental Justice into Federal Agency Environmental Policy." Pp. 51-65 in AAAS/ EPA Environmental Science and Engineering Fellowship Reports. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.
  • Nordenstam, B.J., and DiMento, J.F. (1990). "Right-to-Know: Implications of Risk Communication Research for Regulatory Policy," University of California, Davis Law Review 23(2):333-374.


  • EST 353, Environmental Psychology (Fall, odd years)
  • EST 366, Attitudes, Values and the Environment (Fall, even years)
  • EST 388, Psychological Principles of Risk Communication (Spring, even years)
  • EST 604, Social Survey Research Methods for Environmental Issues (Spring, odd years)
  • EST 606, Environmental Risk Perception: Implications for Communication and Policy (Fall)
  • EST 650, Environmental Perception and Human Behavior (Spring)

Graduate Students

  • Pamela Lawrence, Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate Program in Environmental Science/ Environmental Systems and Risk Management

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, Interim Governing Board
  • Society for Risk Analysis, Central New York Chapter, Councilor (elected)
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • Rural Sociological Society

Public Service

  • Onondaga County Council on Environmental Health, Member


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